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Cranberry Waldorf Salad

A true classic with a simple twist.

How many decades has the Waldorf Salad been a classic? Actually, it’s been an entire century! It’s true – the Waldorf Salad originated over a hundred years ago at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York and it hasn’t fallen out of fashion yet. And I doubt it ever will – the combination of apples, grapes, celery, walnuts, and mayo is so timelessly delicious that we didn’t want to mess with much. Our Cranberry Waldorf Salad here stays true to the original medley but adds in tart cranberries for some festive winter flair. It’s a simple classic with a twist!

Waldorf Salad is named for the hotel where it originated. It was created by the Waldorf-Astoria’s maître d’hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, who developed the recipe for a charity ball in honor of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in 1896. Originally it was just apples, celery, and mayonnaise, but once it made it into Oscar’s cookbook, it had been adapted to contain walnuts as well. Nowadays, you usually see it with grapes and often also with some chicken or turkey added, which helps to make it into a more filling meal option.

With this version, we’ve added both fresh cranberries and dried cranberries which add a burst of tart flavor and a little chew, respectively. The fresh cranberries are a little puckering on their own, but paired with the sweet grapes (and a little sugar mixed into the mayo), they achieve a delicious sweet and sour balance. I’ve always loved a little lemon zest or orange zest over Waldorf Salad and here we opt for orange, which goes perfectly with the bright cranberries.

Serves 6

10m prep time

Rated 4.4 out of 5
Rated by 83 reviewers
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to coat.
  2. Cover bowl and chill at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Foodie Crush.

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